In 2011, I felt lost, unfulfilled, and defeated. My biggest sense of hopelessness came down to my career path and constant financial strain. Corporate America no longer appealed to me. After getting laid off from a high-paying, yet stressful job, I had no career direction. Debt piled up and weight piled on. Over the years I found myself participating in "emotional eating" to numb the lack of joy I experienced. My unhappiness led to my weighing almost 250 pounds.
In addition to my career troubles in 2011, my mother was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease. By the time she started dialysis, I had made a determination to learn all I could about health and wellness from a holistic approach to help her. I read countless books, did endless research, and enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).
I decided not only to get tested for kidney donor compatibility, but to get real about living a passionate life. I discovered I loved holistic health and helping others heal their lives. It gave me the fulfillment I was seeking. Even when I wasn't earning money. Somehow I began to attract the resources I needed. Material items became unnecessary because my sense of purpose filled any perceived voids. I felt personal freedom for the first time. I became clear that when you do what you love, the money will come. In the words of Maya Angelou:
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
Following this philosophy and the steps listed below helped me define and begin my passion-filled career.
1. Trust your process and unique gifts.
You don’t have to be perfect. We're always learning and evolving. You're on this planet for a reason. No one else has your unique blend of talents, wisdom, strengths or creativity. You have something great to offer.
2. Pay attention to synchronicity.
What themes, patterns or lessons seem to constantly surface in your life? What are you drawn to? What areas of life seem to conspire against or for you? These situations may be revealing clues.
3. Practice meditation.
Whenever you’re seeking an answer that never seems to come, it’s a crucial reminder to look within. When you still your mind, slow down and meditate, you can tap into the best version of yourself. This is where motivation, faith, courage and creativity lie.
4. Practice yoga.
Yoga shows you how boundless and limitless you are. It stretches not only your body, but also your belief system. When I attempted my first asana, I thought it was impossible, but yoga teaches determination and persistence.
5. Hire a professional to guide you, enroll in a training program or participate in a workshop.
Instruction drives inspiration. This is an expedient means to gaining the results you desire. Mentors and coaches often see strengths that we are oblivious to.
6. Replace reasons you will fail with reasons you can succeed.
Create affirmations. Make a vision board that shows your future success. This is the law of attraction; focus more on the things you want.
7. Realize other people's opinions are not your truth.
I live by the mantra, "Other people's thoughts are none of my business." Never seek approval, or feel the need to prove yourself in your journey.
8. Write as much as possible.
Keeping a journal is a great way to connect with yourself. Ideas, desires and creativity often flow when you write without an agenda. I also encourage you to jot down every single idea that comes to mind. Don't trust your memory on this one. I carry a small journal or my iPhone (thanks to the "notes" app) with me everywhere. Revisit your journal entries weekly.
9. Abandon limiting beliefs.
Self-sabotage and self-doubt will always surface, but it's one thing in life we can control. If you have a vision or desire to accomplish something, you are capable of fulfilling it. We never have dreams or ideas that we are unable to fulfill. Your desires are reminders of what you are great at.
10. Reflect on the things that bring you joy.
Ask yourself the following questions: What makes you smile? What do you love to do? If money were limitless, what would you be doing? If you could only choose one thing, what would you love to do every single day of your life? What do you enjoy talking about?
I wish you success and happiness in your journey.
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